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Mission: Attack on London, England.

Date: 22
nd January 1944

Time: 05.15 hours.

Unit: 2 Staffel./Kampfgeschwader 2

Type: Dornier Do 217M

Werke/Nr. 86017

Code: U5 + CK

Location: Runwell Mental Hospital, Billericay, Essex, England.

Pilot: Leutnant. Erich Reiser. 57358/417 – Killed. Born 16.12.1917 in Karlsruhe.

Observer: Unteroffizier. Erich Kanz. 57358/324 – Killed. Born 31.08.1923 in Peest.

Radio/Op: Unteroffizier. Günter Kaplitz. 57358/330 – Killed. Born 25.05.1921 in Spandau.

Flt/Eng: Unteroffizier. Georg Sauer. 57358/358 – Killed. Born 02.01.1923 in Mannheim.


Extract taken from R.A.F. Intelligence report: A.D.I.(k) 31/1944 (National Archive)

Apparently hit by AA fire, it flew low over the hospital travelling in a north easterly direction with one engine on fire. Shortly afterwards it hit a line of trees at high speed, and crashed when either the tanks or a bomb exploded causing a crater 10 ft. deep.

An Ausweis, a photograph, two or three collar patches and shoulder straps, and an undated food card in Dutch and German were virtually all that remained of the crew, but a P/W (prisoner of war) from 2./KG 2 has identified the photograph and the name on the Ausweis as those of Uffz. Kaplitz and Uffz. Kanz, a W/T operator and observer of his Staffel. They usually flew together in the U5 + EK, with an Uffz. Sauer as B/M (flight engineer) and an Offizieranwärter as pilot. One of the shoulder straps found was that of a Fähnrich so it seems likely that it was this complete crew which was flying the present aircraft.

1 Erich Reisercc2 Kanz & Reiser
cccccccccccccccccccErich Reisercccccccccccccccc ccccccccccccccErich Kanz with Erich Reisercccccccccccccccc

Courtesy of T. Williams Collection / Reiser family ccccccccccc Courtesy of T. Williams Collection / Reiser family

3 Kablitz & Sauer
Günter Kablitz with Georg Sauer

Courtesy of T. Williams Collection / Reiser family

4 Crash Site
The crash site crater in the foreground, over the fence we found the remains of one main wheel tyre which
must have been left behind from the previous dig at the site. (Brownless)

5 DB Engine
One of the engines from the Runwell Dornier, beautifully cleaned and now on display at Duxford,
home of the Essex Aviation Group. (Ellis)

6 Local Press

7 Relics found
Crew related finds, part of a qualification badge, Iron Cross 1
st Class and a bomber war flights clasp.

Courtesy, T. Williams

8 Grave
Final resting place, Block 9-7-42 Deutsche Soldatenfriedhof Cannock Chase, Staffs, England.

Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless with special thanks to Trevor Williams and the Reiser family for allowing us the use of their images for this page of remembrance. December 2015.
The British Library is preserving this site for the future in the UK Web Archive at All Aircrew Remembered on our Remembrance pages, are therefor not just remembered here, but also subsequently remembered and recorded as part of our nation’s history
and heritage at The British Library.